SALT LAKE CITY — Leki Fotu is a man among boys.

Fans of the Utah defensive linemen were well aware of that, but you can now count Chris Low among the believers.

Low, a senior staff writer at ESPN, released the 2019 ESPN preseason college football All-America team and Fotu was on it.

In fact, the defensive tackle out of West Valley City was one of just three Pac-12 players to crack into ESPN’s list of the top players in college football.

The team, which included 12 offensive players, 11 defensive players and two special teams players, is more of a projection of the future as well, with Low noting “keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a reflection of what players have done to this point. That’s part of it, but an even bigger part is who we think will be the best players on the field this season, based on traveling the preseason camp circuit, talking to coaches and consulting with colleagues.”

As for Fotu, Low has high expectations.

“An absolute mountain of a man, the 6-foot-5, 335-pound Fotu might as well be a mountain for the Utes in the middle of their defensive line,” he wrote. “Good luck budging Fotu, even when you double-team him. And as dominant as Fotu has been up front, his best football is ahead of him, and there’s a reason Utah coach Kyle Whittingham doesn’t shy away from mentioning Fotu and former Utah great Luther Ellis in the same sentence.”

Fotu isn’t the only standout on the Utah defensive line either, with Bradlee Anae having been named a preseason All-American by Phil Steele, while John Penisini is the “unsung hero” of the Utes defensive line.

Needless to say, the Utah defensive line should be among the best in the nation in 2019 and their play this year should go a long way in determining just how far the Utes get, even as far as the College Football Playoff.